Lately, the theme of many conversations with a good friend and accountability partner keep circling back to the need to identify our individual foundation in order to gain strength and perspective from it. It’s built from our values, goals and place of peace in knowing what that strength and foundation is. Think of it as a pyramid, and at the top is your ultimate goal and purpose in life. The need for a secure understanding of this is to direct our actions in order to come from a strong foundation and clear perspective with intention. Otherwise, we are pulled around by a ring in our noses, rather than being able to flow and bend with change. The grounding anchor helps our reactions be prompted by peace in the need to be flexible, learning and growing, while tenaciously walking from a place of acceptance and letting go, because we truly understand that clinging to things, ideas, misinterpretations, dysfunctional behaviors and attitudes doesn’t serve us, or others.
All of our lives are in a place of constant change right now. I find myself needing to continue to see things in new ways, be more creative about how I can shift my schedule and experience life right now, and the increasing need to see other people’s perspective, or at least be open to the fact that mine may not be the only perspective in a particular situation. I desire to learn and continue to grow during this time when I feel pressure and stress. Sometimes the most difficult and hard things that we would never choose to enter into, turn into a gift to us.
I was just listening to The Minimalists Podcast, which has been a monumental part of my mind shift in being able to let go of things. Learning to let go in the of materialistic things helps us in the journey of learning to accept change and being able to let go of rigid thoughts of how we expected, or thought things should be. New Abnormal, Episode 239 that I was just listening to, touched on some of what I have been pondering, and although this podcast has been devoted mostly to issues of minimalism, Josh and Ryan have been discussing much of what the rest of the world is with issues surrounding the pandemic and what we experience emotionally and mentally during this time. Josh shared how becoming really ill, which seemed at the time to be the worst possible thing that could have happened to him, turned out to be a gift because it prompted a radical shift in his attention to eating healthy and exercising, and led him to leading a healthier lifestyle in taking better care of himself.
For me, my unexpected separation after a long-term marriage, forced a quick downsizing from an 1800 square foot home and mini ranch with a couple of horses to a small, 2-bedroom apartment. Of course, there are layers of heartache and loss involved in divorce, and for me, my 3 kids (2 young adults at the time) were in three different states, but the relocating and losing not only the sense of home, but the things and even animals, was pretty devastating. At first, this was extremely difficult. I had always built up this idea that in America we should just be accumulating more and more and that family should look like a Norman Rockwell painting. Even now, I’m still working through some things that were still in storage. And, I can tell you without a doubt, that I would not have opted to downsize like that had been given the choice, but it was an unexpected difficult situation that has taught me to appreciate being free from stuff. To not have a lot that demands my attention in cost and maintenance, and be at a place where I can choose more enjoyable free time, rather than chores, has absolutely been a gift. This change in my thought process has taken a few years, but I’m happily on a road to becoming a minimalist and it is bringing me so much peace and joy. My change in perspective was birthed out a very unexpected, difficult situation in my life. But now, being able to let go of things is helping me learn to bend to change, and that is bringing more and more peace to me each day.